telling the tale.

As a child, I never struggled to entertain myself.  My mother still reminisces that she would peek into my bedroom, worried when I’d been alone behind a closed door for too long.  She’d find me on my floor, wrapped up in a toy or a game of my own creation, quietly whispering to the characters that lived inside my head.

I can still recall some of my more elaborate childhood fictions.  Often, they grew from visual inspiration – a piece of clothing found in our cardboard dress up box,a lyric from a musical heard in my father’s car, even a discarded scrap of wrapping paper.

While the days of pretending eventually escaped me, the art of telling a tale has remained a passion of mine.  As I began to develop my own style, for instance, I found that outfits could tell many stories of their own.  Each piece of clothing has a history – where it came from, how it arrived there, why you chose it.  Putting those pieces together transforms simple parts into a complex whole.


And the same goes for a plate of food.  Each element of storytelling preached by my college professors has its place on a plate.

There is the foundation of leafy greens, providing the salad with a universally understood base.  Then, the seasonal ingredients of eggplant and summer squash, relevant and appropriate for the time of consumption.  The carrots and tomato add color and interest, drawing the viewer closer.  Garnished with fresh herbs, their flavor and spice complete the package with a unique twist on an old classic.

Of course, there are the many nutrients, unrecognizable to the eye, yet existing prominently between the lines.  No piece of art is complete without its metaphors.  Those hidden discoveries are by far my favorite part of any tale.

What tells the stories in your life?  Food?  Music?  Style?  



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5 responses to “telling the tale.

  1. clothes and food. They tell a story of evolution anyway, how I grew from a picky eating, glasses wearing tomboy to a contacts wearing veggie monster!

  2. I think dance tell a great story of my life and where I am today. Dance is what I turn to “get away” and express my emotions–whether it is happy or sad or angry or excited. My dance style now combines all of those emotions. So when I dance, you are seeing my past, present, and future.

  3. Ok, true story (pun not intended): I think everything we do revolves around storytelling. Whether it be evolution, a family lineage, political movements, music, fashion, food. Everything is a story, and most fields of study revolve around storytelling. I just don’t think most people think of it that way. But even math can be a story.

    (Brain cramp, can’t say much more but have more thoughts to share another day.)

  4. Music and food… All of my memories are linked back to one or the other (or both) in some way. I look back at my life and everything is tied into them.

  5. Alex

    I had a very similar childhood!

    I love the idea of thinking of a salad as a story. I’m going to try that on my next meal…

    Ps. You write beautifully!

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